Profile of Bob Evans
News & Commentary Posts: 1070
Bob Evans is senior VP, communications, for Oracle Corp. He is a former InformationWeek editor.
Articles by Bob Evans
posted in February 2009
Global CIO guest columnist Howard Anderson has chimed in with a classic piece of strategic advice for CIOs on surviving these brutal times via artful negotiation of political minefields. Howard counsels CIOs on how to deal with suits seeking "shared pain," Sacred Cows, Godfathers, and Mahogany Row, and says to consider your pool of projects "one large Dungeons & Dragons game."
UPDATE: Bob Evans has just posted a new column about Salesforce and Benioff's challenges and opportunities in squaring off against Oracle, Microsoft and SAP.
Two months after Oracle CEO Larry Ellison told financial analysts his company was whipping Salesforce in head-to-head competition for cloud deals, Salesforce CEO Marc Benioff hit back this week by releasing a list of customers h
President Obama's plan to penalize U.S. companies that use outsourcers from India and other countries will hurt the U.S. economy, the Indian economy, and the global economy, according to officials from the Indian technology industry. While it's not exactly a shocker to hear India's $63 billion IT and BPO market express such reactions, they underscore the central issue of just how damaging such a policy would be.
"We will restore a sense of fairness and balance to our tax code by finally ending the tax breaks for corporations that ship our jobs overseas," President Obama said last night. That begs the central question: In our massively interdependent business world where more and more products are designed, sourced, built, sold and serviced everywhere, how exactly do we define "our jobs"?
This success story highlights one of the reasons why CIOs in this rotten economy can't close their eyes to forward-looking innovation: a Honda warehousing unit says that a SaaS application from a small vendor called SmartTurn has exceeded all of its expectations and is leading to "a whole new change in how this type of business is done."
When the upturn arrives, will your customers be satisfied with the capabilities your company had before it went into lockdown mode or will they be looking for growth strategies?
Who knew Microsoft is pushing oil field-exploration and related energy initiatives in more than 70 countries? That it's helping Chevron deploy SOA and BI projects in the North Sea to extract more oil? And that Microsoft calls energy security the "über-challenge"? Here's a unique look inside this little-known side of Microsoft via video, text, and -- of course -- PowerPoint.
In the highly fragmented Indian market for IT services, IBM grabbed the biggest market share for the second straight year as Indian CIOs are requiring outsourcing partners to offer end-to-end services and deep domain expertise and are putting less emphasis on low prices.
A logistics and transportation company has just named a new CIO with hands-on industry experience as well as theoretical expertise from the academic world: certainly sounds like a good choice and worthy of that respect thing some CIOs are not getting these days. But in a press release, the new hire's boss says the incoming CIO "has driven hundreds of millions of dollars to the bottom line &
CIOs need to examine what they've done -- or not done -- that perpetuates the no respect mantra.
While many companies struggle to find the bottom in this global recession, others are finding pockets of significant growth in unexpected areas: for example, the explosive market for mobile phones in rural India. CIOs can look for inspiration in this tale of untraditional opportunity as part of your effort to identify new markets and new customers in an otherwise brutal economic climate.
What are the four main reasons IT projects fail? And do you know what the early-warning signs are for the approach of those dreaded Four Horsemen? Leon Kappelman, an IT professor who's been studying this issue for many years, will share the results of his extensive research into project failures in an upcoming Webinar. Leon is a prince of a guy and his Webinar is sure to be valuable.
OK, folks, be honest: are you sharing data with customers, partners, and suppliers as aggressively as you should be? How about across divisions within your own company? If that makes you a little queasy, consider this: the recent collision of two space satellites has inspired a top U.S. military officer to urge better data sharing with Russia and China, and France. If our military's willing to go that far, what's holding you back?
With the relentless movement of jobs across borders, in a year or two these moves might hardly be noticed: filmmaker Warner Bros. said it is outsourcing about 300 jobs to India and Poland as part of a larger restructuring, and United Air Lines is closing a call center in India and moving 165 jobs back to the United States "to handle more sophisticated conversations with our guests."
After the recent Satyam scandal, most outsourcing clients rushed to assess the financial health of their software and BPO partners. But as the global rececession deepens, Tata Consultancy Services is shifting the burden of proof of viability from outsourcer to customers as Tata, burned by bankrupt client Nortel, looks to ensure its clients can pay their bills.
Anybody out there read Fortune? Did you know they just referred to CIOs as "geeks" who know nothing of corporate strategy, focus on server upgrades, have "limited social skills," hang out in "the wiring closet," and whose top value is "coding skills"? But due to the recession, Fortune says, "Tech execs get sexy." Did April Fool's Day come early, or is Fortune just showing its ignorance of the role played by CIOs and business technology in today's global economy?
UPDATE: Retail giant Nordstrom's blunt-force attempt to seize a trademark from a small online retailer, made possible by an error within the Patent & Trademark Office, might produce a happy ending instead of wiping out the small firm that's had to spend more than $70,000 on legal fees. Nordstrom says it's "sorry" if it hurt the small business and is seeking an acceptable solution.
Want to maximize the odds that a business-technology project will fail? Then be sure to follow the age-old formal request process. Want to maximize the odds that you'll fail to harness the potential of SaaS and cloud computing? Then just keep playing the cop instead of the evangelist. Want to ensure projects are outdated? Then keep grinding through The Queue even after business conditions have changed. A guest columnist makes the case for new approaches.
Global CIO takes a look at the heavy lifting that faces California CIO Teri Takai and team as they modernize the state's IT infrastructure.
Indian IT and BPO firms looking for new sources of affordable talent are expanding into Egypt -- Wipro's already doing some IT and BPO work there, as are Microsoft, IBM, Vodafone, Orange, Valeo and Teleperformance. So it's good to know that while Egypt faces significant social challenges, a recent study on economic freedom around the world finds that Egypt's business climate is improving.
Buddying up with the CFO, parceling out scarce resources to desperate LOBs, proving the value of discretionary projects, learning to love regulators, and negotiating turbulence in global IT sourcing -- who could ask for a more-inviting agenda than that? McKinsey says successful CIOs must master all five of those challenges in 2009, and adds that a bit of luck won't hurt.
When Cisco released its quarterly numbers last week, the company said it financed customer purchases totaling $2.1 billion from its cash reserves in the quarter. After looking at the financing plans of some other major IT vendors, I can't decide whether such financing options are the greatest deals in the history of the universe, or if some part of the story has yet to be told.
Nordstrom, the retailer with the glorious public image, is using a screwup by the federal government's Patent and Trademark Office to overwhelm a tiny online retailer via courtoom challenges that to date have cost the two women who own the small business $70,000. Reflecting the riskiness of IP issues, they tell the PTO, "Your office has ensured our demise."
Gartner's India CIO Summit 2009 next month should be a real head-spinner: the company says the event will "concentrate on the significant challenges" facing CIOs in India, but then its VP of research in India says "IT in India is booming, with no sign of deceleration." Good thing Gartner's so smart because it'll be tough to square that circular logic -- even with a magic quadrant.
Steeler fans are sure to love it, but even for others, this outstanding collection offers not only superb action images from the game but also some striking candids: Ben Roethlisberger and Mike Tomlin clutching hands on the sideline during a tense moment, Troy Polamalu hugging his infant son, Hines Ward with tears running down his cheeks, and many more.
Global supply chains are always complex beasts involving customs requirements, import/export licenses, security procedures, and much more. But when a crucial global logistics partner on the far side of the world drops the United States and signs with an archrival, who steps up and offers to fill the strategic gap for the U.S.? Why, none other than archrival Russia.
An audio recording of the exchange between US Airways hero pilot Sully Sullenberger and ATC sheds light on the extraordinary two minutes after his plane was disabled and he decided to crash-land in the Hudson River between two of the country's most densely populated areas. Sully's voice remains calm as he first reports "hit birds -- we lost thrust in both engines" and barely 100 seconds later says, "We're gonna be in the Hudson."
Researchers looking for links between the quality of hospital IT systems and patient mortality said their results show "extraordinary outcomes" when hospital tech is well-planned and easy to use. But a physician blogger reviewing the study said its findings are "alarming" and a "possible Vioxx moment." With $20B in health care funds looming, we'd better figure out who's right.
A new book offers a prescription for rethinking the role of technology and getting ready for the post-recession world.
John Halamka enjoys a rich, diverse, and fulfilling life: he's a CIO at a prestigious university, is actively involved in professional organizations, and writes a wonderful blog. And did I mention he's also the CIO of a health care system? Oh, yes -- and a practicing physician? So I was eager to see John's latest post, in which he explores how we measure success and why that matters.
Note to all candidates for the proposed federal CTO position: in the United Kingdom, eight government-run IT projects are about $35 billion over budget. The biggest failure is the electronic health-records effort, now four years late and facing cost overruns of more than $15B. Can the United States avoid a similar disaster with this vital health care initiative?